Archive for October, 2006
Eau Suave is another excellent scent from the excellent Parfum d’Empire line that’s been rocking my world lately. It pays tribute to another historic character – the Empress Josephine and her passion for roses. In contrast to their other robust, “power” scents (Cuir Ottoman, Eau de Gloire, and Ambre Russe), Eau Suave is a delicate floral chypre, centered around saffron and coriander flavored rose. It is one of the most gorgeous rose perfumes I’ve ever smelled. I particularly enjoy its clever interplay with the spicy notes, as if flirting and letting them get really close, yet keeping a certain distance. It’s a rose, after all, and a rose it shall remain, no matter how many cavaliers she might have.
Eau Suave features the notes of pepper, coriander, saffron, rose, apricot, raspberry, peach, vanilla, musk. It opens up with radiant, aldehydic saffron and zesty coriander. The rose dominates the heart of the composition – it is dewy and honeyed, slightly tart with a hint of raspberry. It dries down to a luminous, soft, peachy rose. If I were to wax poetic, I’d say it’s a rose garden glowing with the morning sun, the petals covered with dew. In spite of its delectable, tender nature, it could very well be worn by a man. In fact, it’d smell simply irresistible on a man! The lasting power doesn’t disappoint – it’s a FBW (Full Bottle Worthy) scent all around.
Eau Suave is available at Aedes, Beautyhabit, and Aus Liebe Zum Duft.
P.S. If you like scents like Agent Provocateur, Guerlain Rose Barbare, Sisley Soir de Lune, you’ll like Eau Suave.
Image source: www.aedes.com
October 31st, 2006
A little while back we shared our favorite perfume notes. Today, to keep up with the spirit of Halloween, let’s talk about the scary notes. You might laugh but I’m actually scared of peony. Every time I see peony mentioned as a note, I cringe. I don’t mind the actual flower. I just dread peony in perfumes. Same goes for freesia. Tons of fragrances created these days are high on peony and freesia. If you don’t believe me, just check the Sephora’s What’s New section. I’d much rather smell of deadly patchouli and rigid oakmoss. I also dread grapefruit – 99% of the time it smells like cat urine on my skin. What perfume notes scare you?
October 31st, 2006
West Side is the newest addition to the Bond No 9 perfume line. Following their mission of creating scents to represent each neighborhood of New York, West Side pays homage to the Manhattan’s West Side – the music center of the city. West Side is “an ultra-melodious eau de parfum that finds the scent equivalent for the sounds of music in its full-bodied, mellow composition” (info from the press release). In contrast to the claimed mellowness of the composition, the bottle is quite vivacious, and just by looking at it, I’d expect the scent to be some bright fruity-floral loaded with vanilla. Luckily, this doesn’t prove to be quite so true.
West Side is composed of the following notes: rose, ylang-ylang, peony, sandalwood, amber, vanilla, musk. While its initial touch on my skin is quite pleasant, the aquatic peony note I detect is a bit off-putting. This, however, doesn’t last too long, with rose taking the lead, gradually joined by vanilla, creating a sort of an olfactory duet. Yes, it’s definitely a duet – sweet, moderately powdery, and fluid. It stays strong for a good while and gets eventually broken up by musk. West Side is by no means a complex scent. Neither would I call it full-bodied. As I look for descriptive adjectives, “pretty” keeps coming up, albeit not so original, yet very much fitting. Prettily pleasant, pleasantly pretty. Not being a huge fan of Bond No 9 fragrances, I’d say it’s the one I could wear, occasionally.
West Side is available at Beautycafe, Beauty And Scents. For more retailer information, please check the Bond No 9 web site.
Image source: www.beautycafe.com
October 30th, 2006
Bois d’Ombrie is a new fragrance in the Eau d’Italie line, created by Bertrand Duchaufour who’s also the nose behind their Paestum Rose as well as L’Artisan Dzongkha, Poivre Piquant, Mechant Loup. (courtesy of Now Smell This). It’s said to be inspired by the Umbrian woods of Italy which makes it a predominantly woody scent. Just like Paestum Rose, its composition seems impeccable, and, while it’s certainly impressive and unusual, it falls into the category of fragrances with only conceptual appeal. In other words, I admire it for its concept, yet find it lacking as far as wearability. Don’t get me wrong: it does sit well on the skin. It does not, however, move anywhere, it seems.
Bois d’Ombrie features the notes of cognac, whisky, iris, leather, myrrh, opoponax, patchouli, tobacco, vetiver. In spite of its liquor notes, the scent doesn’t have that boozy quality. It starts out rather bitter, with a dark iris note. This initial stage is quite appealing but it doesn’t seem to last long. The next stage is mostly pepper (although not listed as a note) with a hint of patchouli to my nose, still rather bitter, reminiscent of some herbal brew. The drydown has a dark, dusty effect, with vetiver coming into play. Oddly enough, Bois d’Ombrie doesn’t seem to conjure up images of woods. It’s reminiscent of old, unpolished wood furniture and bitter herbal remedies. If I could tweak it a little, I’d add more sweetness, perhaps amber or just a tad of vanilla. I’d also make it go wild on my skin. Alas, I have no such powers, so I’ll resign to simple, quiet appreciation.
Bois d’Ombrie is available at Aedes and Lafco.
Image source: www.aedes.com
October 26th, 2006
“Perfumes without compromise” is the slogan of Frederic Malle Editions de Parfums that holds true for each of their fragrances. The line is built around the idea of giving a perfumer complete creative freedom as well as giving them open credit (each bottle has the perfumer’s name written on the label). The result is exceptional. These are the perfumes that will not find you. You have to find them. If you seek. I got acquainted with the line about 3 years ago and have admired all of the scents, with a few being steady favorites (Lipstick Rose, Musc Ravageur, Iris Poudre). During my New York visit, I visited the Frederic Malle little room in the Barney’s store and found a few more scents simply impossible to resist.
Musc Ravageur Oil (Maurice Roucel) – bergamot, tangerine, cinnamon, vanilla, musk, amber. The oil concentration is a softer, closer to skin Musc Ravageur, with tame citrus notes and accented vanilla. It comes with a dropper and a spray attachment, depending on your preference. The sprayer works excellently, with a fine mist that puts just enough oil on your skin to rub in. If you’re wondering which concentration is better, I’d say both are equally amazing. The oil is perfect as a cuddly, comfort scent while the eau de parfum will have more presence and sillage.
Une Fleur de Cassie (Dominique Ropion) – mimosa, jasmine, cassie, rose, carnation, vanilla, sandalwood. This should come with a “Proceed With Caution” label. Une Fleur de Cassie was promptly dismissed for its borderline repulsive initial notes – it smells like a mix of fresh paint, paper, and chalk. This time around, however, I was told to let it settle on my skin and wait for a gorgeous result. The waiting takes somewhere between 10-20 minutes, depending on your eagerness, and a breathtaking result you get. The composition is built around mimosa and cassie flower that play up pungent powderiness. The jasmine and carnation add more body. The drydown is sort of chalky floral on a soft sandalwood base. It’s such a non-conformist scent – it’s weird and unique and baffling. It’s the kind you want to call bad names, yet find yourself helplessly captivated by.
Frederic Malle perfumes are available in the U.S. at select Barney’s department stores. They can also be ordered directly from the Editions de Parfums online shop.
Image source: www.editionsdeparfums.com
October 25th, 2006
Sniffing in New York was an olfactory feast, and one of the highlights was Voilette de Madame by Guerlain. Try as I might, I found very little background information, other than it was initially released in 1902, and Guerlain has reintroduced it as an exclusive to their Paris boutique in a fancy bottle with a snail design for a very hefty price. I suppose saying we were lucky to purchase it (only 9 bottles were available) would be an understatement, so I’ll just say I’ll cherish my bottle devotedly.
Voilette de Madame is a blend of iris, ylang-ylang, narcissus, violet, and sandalwood. It’s quite powdery in top notes, along the lines of Orchidee Blanche, with a softer iris note and just a hint of violet. The drydown has a prominent Guerlinade accord – a compound of balsams, iris, and vanilla, used in such Guerlain creations as Mitsouko or L’Heure Bleu. The most appealing thing about it is its animalic base against which the flowers are resting languidly. Voilette de Madame means “A Lady’s Veil”, and, while I can’t assert specifically what type of veil is implied, in my imagination I see a tulle face veil. What’s behind this veil is a slightly powdered face, gorgeous, daring eyes, and lips slightly open, gently breathing upon it. Whether it’s bad breath or not, depends on your skin chemistry.
P.S. Just to clarify, we did not pay the hefty Paris price for our bottles. It was the deal of a lifetime.
Image source: courtesy of Mr.Aromascope
October 24th, 2006
Sniffing in New York was a blast! A total sensory overload, however, that’s taking its toll on my nose and pretty much everything else. While I’m recuperating, here’s a preview of what’s coming up in reviews/impressions: Voilette de Madame by Guerlain, Eau Suave by Parfum d’Empire, Musc Ravageur oil by Frederic Malle (and a new found appreciation for the entire line), Bois d’Ombrie by Eau d’Italie, and more.
Image source: www.corbis.com
October 23rd, 2006
This seems to be the week of longish posts, and today is no exception. Marina from Perfume-Smellin’ Things and I decided to make a list of our favorite perfumes, by house, in alphabetical order. Another reason I didn’t do a review today is because I’m going to the New York City Sniffa! First time for me, and, needless to say, I’m beyond thrilled. So, stay tuned next week for my impressions (and lots of new lemmings, I’m sure!) But for now, here’s a list of my favorites. Please be sure to check Marina’s as well (she’s practically my scent twin). Please feel free to share yours! Happy weekend!
Eau de Charlotte
Eau du Fier
Bond No 9
Nuits de Noho
Eau de Reglisse
Bois des Iles
Cuir de Russie
Coco (in parfum)
Comme des Garcons
Youth Dew Amber Nude
Le Parfum de Therese
Pierre de Lune
Parfum des Merveilles
Sira des Indes
Blue Agava & Cacao
Black Vetiver Cafe
Magie Noire (in parfum)
L’Eau du Navigateur
Teint de Neige
Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier
Or des Indes
L’Air de Rien
Rose en Noir
Aoud Roses Petals
Aoud Cuir d’Arabie
Bois de Paradis
Parfums de Nicolai
Brulure de Rose
Santa Maria Novella
Citta di Kyoto
Bois et Fruits
Rose de Nuit
Muscs Koublai Khan
Strange Invisible Perfumes
The Different Company
Jasmin de Nuit
Image source: Marina says it’s supposed to represent her and me (I assume she means the hair color). Fine with me but I don’t really look like that in real life, people! So that’s my glamour moment.
October 20th, 2006
The Profumum line was founded by Italian artisans Celestino and Lucia Durante shortly after the Second World War. The exclusive fragrances were officially launched in 1996 by their grandchildren. Profumum scents have already been reviewed on perfume blogs, and it’s now my turn to add my two cents. I’m afraid two cents it will be, both in what I think of them, and what they’re worth to me.
Acqua di Sale – aroma of salt on the skin, myrtle, cedarwood, marine algae. An aquatic scent, slightly minty, slightly salty. The myrtle gives it a green quality. Not really my taste but quite impressive, as far as marine scents go.
Acqua e Zucchero – orange blossom, wild berries, vanilla. Syrupy-sugary-vanilla sweet. Very much gourmand. The drydown reminds me of lots of other candy-sweet perfumes (hello, Pink Sugar!).
Antico Caruso – citrus, almond, sandalwood. This one has a sort of old-fashioned cologne feel to it (it’s said to be inspired by a barber shop). The almond smoothes all the rough edges here. Very “masculine” in effect and quite nice.
Fiori d’Ambra – ambergris, opium. Starts out as dry, smoky amber. The drydown is slightly herbal and languid. I should love this but I somehow don’t. I find nothing wrong with the scent, it just doesn’t grab me.
Ichnusa – myrtle, fig tree, cut grass. This smells just like cut grass and fig, nothing more, nothing less. Well, perhaps the myrtle adds a slightly bitter green accord. Otherwise, it’s pretty, invigorating, brisk.
Patchouly – patchouli, amber, sandalwood, incense. Dusty, earthy patchouli that reminds me of some antique piece of furniture. I like it quite a bit but not enough to shell $180.
Santalum – sandalwood, myrrh, cinnamon. This is my favorite Profumum. The love affair of sandalwood and myrrh, with cinammon adding that spicy kick. If I ever find $180 on the street, you know what I’ll spend it on.
Thundra – leaves, mint, patchouli, white musk. My first thought: it smells like mushrooms when you first pick them. Very damp, chilly in effect. The musk in the drydown turns it into an aftershave. Meh.
Profumum scents seem to have decent staying power, and, while I find a couple of them quite appealing, for the most part, they seem to lack that quality that gets my blood going, so to speak. I seriously find them well made and pleasant, just not much more than that. As far as I know, in the U.S., the line is available exclusively at Luckyscent.
Image source: www.luckyscent.com
October 18th, 2006
Someone commented here last week (pardon me, I cannot seem to find the comment) and suggested doing a post on favorite powdery scents. I love powdery perfumes, so it’s not hard to come up with a list. But before I begin, perhaps I should define powdery. In my personal classification, powdery scents fall into two groups: 1) baby powder powdery; 2) old-fashioned (or not) body powder powdery. The most common powdery notes in perfume are: orris, heliotrope, honey, orchid, opoponax, benzoin, magnolia, myrrh, etc.
Teint de Neige by Lorenzo Villoresi – won’t repeat myself, will just say Teint de Neige is the ultimate powdery scent.
Orchidee Blanche by L’Artisan Parfumeur – in contrast to Teint de Neige (where the focus is on the rose), the powdery effect in Orchidee Blanche is achieved by orris, mimosa, vanilla, jasmine, and honey. One of the most elegant scents around. Orchidee Blanche wins my heart with its dewy, honeyed floral powderiness. Unfortunately, it’s said to be discontinued but is still available at select L’Artisan shops while supplies last.
L’Ame Soeur by Divine – jasmine, Bulgarian rose, ylang-ylang, ambergris. Somewhat similar to Chanel No 5, L’Ame Soeur takes a less citrusy/earthy route, focusing on aldehydic rose and amber. Its sillage is soft and velvety. I often reach for it in spring as its whispery powderiness is reminiscent of first spring blossoms.
Iris Poudre by Frederic Malle – ylang-ylang, magnolia, tonka bean, musk, vanilla, iris, sandalwood, vetiver. The powder is Iris Poudre is very much aldehydic. It’s not as much soft, enveloping powder as shimmering and metallic. Iris Poudre is earthy iris powder on a very prominent sandalwood base. Luxurious and refined, it’s very much a going out scent for me.
Habanita by Molinard – bergamot, peach, strawberry, orange blossom, rose, ylang-ylang, orris, lilac, leather, vanilla, cedar, benzoin. This old-fashioned beauty should never be underestimated, especially in parfum. Habanita grabs me the most by its dried fruit powdery accord that brings back memories of being served my beloved dried fruit compote in kindergarten. Besides being heavy on fruit and orris, Habanita is also quite balsamic, with a touch of leather in the drydown. I firmly believe it will never become outdated.
Parfum Sacre by Caron – lemon, pepper, mace, cardamom, orange blossom, rose, jasmine, rosewood, vanilla, myrrh, civet, cedar. The powderiness of Parfum Sacre is centered around the bitter dustiness of pepper and mace. It goes through quite a transformation as the scent develops, becoming more balsamic-resinous and vanillic in the drydown. With its spicy powderiness, it can be equally dressed up or down and is very much a winter scent for me.
Some other excellent powdery perfumes are: Cuir Beluga by Guerlain, Ligea by Carthusia, Talco Delicato by I Profumi di Firenze, Nuit de Noel by Caron, Baby by Norma Kamali, Magnolia Pourpre by Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier.
Do you have any favorite powdery scents?
Image source: www.art.com
October 17th, 2006